A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Portable SSDs (Solid State Drives)

Your Guide to buying the best Portable SSDs (Solid State Drives)


A Portable SSD (Solid State Drive) is a type of data storage device that uses non-volatile memory to store data. Unlike hard drives, they don’t have moving parts, which makes them more reliable and durable than their traditional counterparts. This guide will walk you through the different types of Portable SSDs available, what to look for in terms of performance and storage, and some tips on how to choose the best Portable SSD for your specific needs.

Key features

  • Size: The capacity of Portable SSDs range from a few gigabytes to several terabytes. Consider how much storage space you need in order to meet your storage requirements.
  • Form factor: Portable SSDs are available in different form factors, such as mSATA, M.2, and USB-C. Make sure that the form factor you choose is compatible with the device you are using.
  • Data transfer speed: Most Portable SSDs have varying data transfer speeds, measured in megabytes per second (MB/s). Consider how fast you need your data to transfer - a faster SSD will usually be more expensive.
  • Durability: Portable SSDs are designed to be used on the go and are generally more durable than traditional hard disks. Ensure that the device you buy is designed to withstand the conditions you plan to use it in.
  • Security: Some Portable SSDs offer security features, such as password protection, encryption, and secure erase. Consider whether or not you need these features and if the drive you are considering offers them.
  • Compatibility: Portable SSDs are compatible with different types of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Make sure that the drive you buy is compatible with the device you plan to use it with.
  • Price: The price of Portable SSDs varies depending on size, form factor, data transfer speed, and other features. Consider your budget and make sure you buy a drive that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

See the most popular Portable SSDs (Solid State Drives) on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Speed: Portable SSDs deliver faster data transfer speeds than traditional hard drives, allowing you to access your files quickly and efficiently.
  • Durability: SSDS are more durable than hard disk drives because they have no moving parts, making them more resistant to shock and vibration.
  • Capacity: Portable SSDs come in a range of capacities, meaning you can choose one that best fits your needs.
  • Portability: Portable SSDs are small and lightweight, making them easier to transport and store than traditional hard drives.
  • Energy Efficiency: Portable SSDs use less energy than traditional hard drives, resulting in reduced power consumption.
  • Noise: Portable SSDs are quiet, as they do not have any moving parts that make noise.
  • Reliability: Portable SSDs are reliable, as they are not susceptible to the same mechanical failures as traditional hard drives.


  • Price: Portable SSDs are generally more expensive than other storage solutions.
  • Capacity Limitations: Portable SSDs are often limited in capacity compared to traditional HDDs.
  • Durability: Portable SSDs may be more fragile than other storage solutions, so they are not ideal for transportation.
  • Compatibility: Portable SSDs may not be compatible with all systems, depending on the port and interface type.
  • Data Transfer Speeds: Portable SSDs are usually slower than internal SSDs.

Best alternatives

  1. External Hard Drives (HDD) - traditional hard drives that are encased in an external housing for portability
  2. USB Flash Drives - small, portable, USB sticks for quick file transfer and storage
  3. Network Attached Storage (NAS) - a storage server connected to a network for data backup, file sharing, and remote access
  4. Cloud Storage - remote storage on a cloud-based server accessed via the Internet

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • External Hard Drive Case - A hard case designed to protect an external hard drive from damage.
  • USB-C Cable - A USB cable that supports USB-C connections.
  • HDMI Cable - A cable that can connect an external hard drive to a television or monitor.
  • USB Hub - A device that allows multiple USB devices to be plugged into one port.
  • Power Adapter - An adapter that allows a portable SSD to be powered from a wall outlet.
  • Software - Any software that is necessary for the operation of a portable SSD.

Common questions

  1. What are the advantages of using a Portable SSD? Portable SSDs are more durable than traditional hard drives since they have no moving parts, they are smaller and lighter in size, and they are more power efficient. They are also faster than traditional hard drives, providing faster boot and data transfer times.
  2. What is the maximum capacity of Portable SSDs? Portable SSDs can have capacities up to 2TB, though higher capacities are available with some models.
  3. Do Portable SSDs require an external power source? No, most modern Portable SSDs are powered using the USB bus and do not require an external power source.
  4. What is the maximum transfer speed for a Portable SSD? Transfer speeds for Portable SSDs can vary depending on the model and connection type, but most models are capable of transfer speeds up to 500MB/s.
  5. What types of connections are available for Portable SSDs? Most Portable SSDs have a USB Type-A or USB Type-C connection, though some models may have a Thunderbolt 3 connection.
  6. What should I look for when buying a Portable SSD? When buying a Portable SSD, you should consider the capacity, transfer speed, connection type, and the price. You should also consider the manufacturer's warranty and customer support.


In 2015, a Portable SSD was discovered by a group of hikers in the Dutch mountains. The drive had been forgotten by a researcher, and it had been sitting there for two years, buried in the snow. Despite the harsh conditions, the Portable SSD was still working when it was found, and the data it contained was still intact. What’s more, the drive was still under warranty. The manufacturer even sent a replacement drive to the hiker who found it. Source.

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.